Men Home > Propecia Uses

Certain types of male pattern baldness can be treated with Propecia. Uses of the drug specifically include the treatment of hair loss at the very top of the head and near the front and center of the head. The medicine has not been approved for use in children. Off-label Propecia uses may include treatment for female pattern baldness and hirsutism.

What Is Propecia Used For? -- An Overview

Propecia® (finasteride) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed as a hair loss treatment for certain types of male pattern baldness. Propecia is not approved for use in women or children.

Understanding Hair Loss

Hair loss (known medically as alopecia) can be caused by several factors, including the following:
  • Genetics -- genetic baldness (baldness that "runs in the family") is usually due to the male pattern baldness gene.
  • Hormones -- many different hormones, including testosterone and thyroid hormone, have an effect on hair loss.
  • Medications -- hair loss is a common side effect of many medications.
  • Cancer treatment -- chemotherapy and radiation can cause hair loss.
  • Infections -- some infections can cause temporary hair loss.
  • Pregnancy -- hair loss after pregnancy is common.
Types of Hair Loss
A few of the types of hair loss include:
  • Alopecia areata -- patchy hair loss that does not leave scars
  • Cicatrical alopecia -- hair loss that leaves scars
  • Alopecia totalis -- total and sudden hair loss of the scalp
  • Alopecia universalis -- total hair loss (including body hair)
  • Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) -- hair loss related to genetics and male hormones; can be a cause of hair loss in women and men.
o Female pattern baldness - usually a general thinning of hair at the top and sides of the head
o Male pattern baldness - usually a receding hairline (hair loss from the front of the head, including near the temples) and hair loss at the top of the head.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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